What is the purpose of this engagement?

This consultation seeks feedback from the community (residents/businesses/visitors) on the Draft Footpath Trading Policy which will inform the finalisation of the Policy and the development of the associated Footpath Trading Operating Guidelines.

What is defined as Footpath Trading?

For the purposes of the draft Policy, Footpath Trading includes: 

  • Outdoor Dining
  • Display of Merchandise
  • Planter boxes and other displays
While used for business purposes, movable signage, including A Frames is managed through Council's by-laws.  However, it is intended consideration will be given to signage as part of future permit applications.

What are the proposed "zones" and how will this will be assessed?

  • Walkway Zone
  • Trading Activity Zone (area for business merchandising and outdoor dining)
  • Kerbside zone.

It is proposed that, ideally, the Walkway Zone is located against the building line to ensure a continuous accessible path of travel and to provide the best possible guidance line for all users including persons with vision impairment. 

However, it is acknowledged that in some locations this may be impractical to achieve, so the Policy provides an alternative arrangement by considering the placement of business trading along the building line provided there is a continuous accessible path of travel for the length of the block.  This reinforces the need to ensure that they walkway is in a consistent location and safe and predicable for all pedestrians. This new option meets with disability access requirements.

What will be included in the Operating Guidelines and why isn't this also available for consultation?

The proposed Footpath Trading Operating Guidelines have not yet been developed and will be informed by the feedback received from the community as part of this consultation.

The proposed Operating Guidelines will  assist with the assessment and ongoing management of Footpath Trading Permits. It is intended the Guidelines will include more detailed information on matters such as safety, seating criteria, setbacks, design and appearance, screens and blinds and planter boxes.

The Guidelines will also be reproduced in a user-friendly format to better assist local businesses in their consideration of footpath trading.

Do other councils have similar business trading policies?

Yes, as these permits are a requirement of the Local Government Act 1999, most other councils have similar policies and processes in place to manage permits for business trading on public land.

These do vary as each council's circumstances are different:  those with main streets tend to have more rigourous and specific policies to manage the competing demands on these spaces, along with mitigating safety and access concerns.

What will the process be in obtaining a Footpath Trading Permit?

Interested businesses will be required to complete an application form and provide payment of any associated fees, noting Council has determined that there will be no fees for new Footpath Trading applications in 2018/19.

The application will also need to include a public liability insurance certificate of currency for the proposed operation and a detailed drawing of the location of any outdoor dining or business merchandising.

On receipt of the completed application form, Council will undertake a thorough assessment of the application, ensuring safety and access requirements are met and that the proposal is consistent with the Footpath Trading Policy and associated Guidelines.

How long will a business have to obtain a permit?

Once the final Footpath Trading Policy and Guidelines have been endorsed by Council, businesses will be notified in writing and this will include instructions on how to obtain a permit and associated timeframes.

How much will a Footpath Trading Permit Cost?

For 2018/19 year, Council will not charge a fee for new Footpath Trading applications (outdoor dining and display of merchandise) in 2018/19

For renewals of existing permits 2018/19

-  Display of merchandise: flat fee of $61.50 per annum

-  Outdoor Dining: per square meter cost as follows:

  • $0.95/sq metre/week (retail precinct with liquor)
  • $0.55/sq metre/week (retail precinct without liquor)
  • $0.90/sq metre/week (commercial precinct with liquor)
  • $0.45/sq metre/week (commercial precinct without liquor)

What does this mean if a business has a current Outdoor Dining Permit?

If a business has a current approval in place, your existing permit and conditions remain in place until the specified expiration date of the permit.

Once the Footpath Trading Policy is approved by Council, all renewal or new applications will be assessed against the new Policy and associated Guidelines.

How long will the permit last?

Footpath trading permits are annual.  However, to simplify the renewal process (should your conditions stay the same) an option is provided to tick a box, send a new Public Liability Certificate and pay the nominated fee.


Does a business require a permit if they have been displaying merchandise on the footpath in front of their shop/business?

Yes.  As per the Local Government Act 1999, Section 222 – permits for business purposes (1) A person must not use a public road* for business purpose unless authorised to do so by a permit.  The permit system is the approval process for Footpath Trading to occur.

*Please note:  Footpaths are deemed to be public roads as per legislation.

What if a business chooses to continue to trade on the footpath without a permit?

If this is the case, Council will endeavour to work with the business to ensure a permit is in place.  If the business continues to use the footpath without a permit, Council may consider issuing an expiation/s or can remove the displays/trading furniture.


Why is access and safety such a priority over business outcomes?

Access and safety is important for businesses, residents and visitors to the Unley area alike. 

In 1992 the Federal Government passed legislation to make it against the law to discriminate on the grounds of disability in relation to access to ‘premises’ used by the public.  A footpath is considered to fall under the definition of ‘premises’.

Council therefore has an obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that footpaths provide a continuous accessible path of travel. 

What about access for people with disabilities? What has Council done to ensure these needs are met?

During the review of the Business trading related policies, the Council engaged the services of 2 separate independent experts to provide advice and assess the draft Policy.  These recommendations have been specifically addressed and incorporated into the draft Footpath Trading Policy.

Will footpath width be taken into account when assessing a permit application?

Yes.  The draft Footpath Trading Policy includes minimum guidelines for the width of the walkway zone, trading activity zone and kerb zone.  These guidelines ensure that the Council complies with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Council will work towards a favourable outcome for all, however it may be in some cases the width of the footpath does not lend itself to Street Trading. 


Will Council consider an application from a business to display on both sides of the footpath?

Generally speaking, no.  To ensure a continuous accessible path of travel only one side can be offered (preferably the building line) and Council will consider a block by block approach to this. 

This may be reconsidered where there is an unusually wide footpath area.

What if a neighbouring trader won’t negotiate with a business on the preferred location of the dining/trading?

Council will take a strategic approach in determining the preferred location of the trading activity area on a block-by-block basis.  This approach will take into consideration the needs of existing business, existing infrastructure as well as pedestrian access and safety considerations.  Council will make the final decision.

Council will take a consistent approach in determining location, this could include size , traffic conditions and other safety concerns.

The final decision will be at the discretion of Council.

Does a businesses need a permit for putting chairs out the front for people to sit on while they wait, or for display?

Yes, if items are going to be placed on a public footpath, a permit is required from Council in accordance with section 222 of the Local Government Act 1999. 

What if a business wants stools/dining out the front of their business but has been unsuccessful in the past, does this change in the new policy?

Potentially, with the new policy it may offer some extra flexibility but  as a general rule a 60km speed limit road will not be applicable for outdoor dining without the installation of crash protection bollards. Similarly, a footpath with a width less than 2400mm is unlikely to provide sufficient width for outdoor dining.

Does this Policy apply to A-Frames and/or other signage?

Council has an existing By-Law governing moveable signs (available on Council's website).  However, an assessment of a street trading application will need to also take into account the location of the A-Frame Signage to ensure a continuous accessible path of travel. 

Why do businesses need to provide a public liability certificate as part of the permit application?

It protects against claims of personal injury or property damage that a third party may suffer (or claim to have suffered) as a result of a business activity.

What will Council do if a business's display items, products and/or furniture is damaged or stolen?

Council takes no responsibility for items placed on Community land

Why does a business require a permit, when people can eat on a bench or bus stop without a permit?

Section 222 of the Local Government Act 1999 requires a business to have a permit if they wish to use a public road for business purposes. 

In addition, Council wishes to maintain the amenity value of public areas to help attract visitors to businesses in the area, while at the same time ensuring that these areas remain safe and accessible to all members of the public.

If safety is a concern, what is Council doing address cycling on footpaths?

Council is not the authority that deals with people cycling on footpaths.  The South Australian Government has set the laws governing cycling on footpaths.  

Any complaints regarding the manner in which cyclists are using the footpath should be directed to the South Australian Police Department.

Do I need a permit for planter boxes and pot plants?

Yes, in general, a permit or permission from Council is required prior to placing any object on a public road or public place.

What will happen with my feedback and what are the next steps of the project?

All comments received will be considered in the finalisation of the Footpath Trading Policy and will also inform the development of the associated Operating Guidelines.